Downtown Grand Rapids Loses Longest Operating Store
WZZM-13 is reporting that Downtown Grand Rapids is losing what may be its longest continually-operating store – Van Hoecks Shoes.
Owner Greg Clarin says the store has been losing money for four years. High rent and low traffic get the blame, along with an aging customer base and internet sales competition.
“There’s not enough people downtown to support us because there’s not enough retail down here to make ’em come down and shop it as a retail district,” Clarin said Wednesday morning.
Clarin has owned Van Hoecks for the past 14 years. He says the first 11 were good years. Clarin says his store has always focused on carrying large inventory to provide shoes for hard-to-fit customers.
Do you think this kind of retail is dead downtown Grand Rapids?